Bitch on the Blog

July 17, 2016

A snapshot in time

Let me tell you now, and I won’t hold it against if you never talk to me again: I am not possessed by a cell phone.

Of course, I do admire those who have one and know what to do with it without being enslaved by it. Indeed I am so happy that the Angel bucked the trend and got a Samsung instead of you know what. He won’t let me touch it but will show me the magic.

The world is shrinking – size wise. I remember the first word processor (IBM) the law firm I worked for employed. Being the youngest in der Anwaltskanzlei  I was the chosen one to attend the course and subsequently instruct my co workers how to operate what, in terms of size, can only be described as a MONSTER. Yes, those were the heady days when my beloved IBM golf ball typewriter lay on its death bed. Mind you, with teaching comes responsibility. Thus I was swiftly reprimanded for making my coworkers feel stupid and slow. I did apologize since that was never my intention. It also taught me that “intention” has little to do with human interaction. A bit like standing on someone’s toe without realizing you are doing so.

“A snapshot in time” will continue in another post with what I meant to relate before getting carried away, as usual, by long intro.

In the meantime, what “oldies” overtaken by technology’s ever faster strides do you hanker after/have fond memories of?




  1. I am possessed of, not by, a cellphone, if that’s what you meant? In plain English: I have one but don’t let it dictate my life.

    Comment by Friko — July 17, 2016 @ 11:25 | Reply

  2. During our autumn trip last year in Utah, one campground rationed internet access with codes for each device. When they asked how many we needed, we said 6 as we each had a cell phone, a tablet and a laptop.

    When the nuclear plant where I worked got its simulator 30 years ago or so, it had 3 or 4 large cabinets for the mainframe computer and 3 large magnetic disk drives, whose disk packs were swapped out to go from development programming to the programming that we were actually using for training. Today, all that’s needed to run the simulator is a few sub-directories on a PC.

    (I retired nearly 10 years ago, but get to go back periodically as a contract instructor, most recently finished last Thursday.)

    Comment by Mike — July 17, 2016 @ 13:38 | Reply

    • Mike, I often wonder how we got by in the “olden” times. Main thing I remember was calm, tranquility. Everything was peaceful. The Cuba Crisis not withstanding. Now? Now you are at the beck and call of the awful tune you have chosen as your ringtone. For all the world to enjoy.

      One question I ask (mainly myself because others are too busy on their phones to hear me): Where does that urgency come from, as conveyed by, say, cell phones? Even as little as three years ago I thought people quite mad talking to themselves. Till I realized they were on the phone whilst walking. Made my heart sink.

      “Nuclear plant”, Mike? Sounds magic, exotic. And, yes, disk drives were mega. Oh my god. I remember reels the size of a wheel on a small bike. Talking about magic. Technology was magic then – and, to me, it’s magic now, albeit the format so tiny.

      Is less more?


      Comment by bitchontheblog — July 17, 2016 @ 18:37 | Reply

      • In the olden times… I remember… after we first got married 44 years ago, when I was attending Naval Nuclear Power School in Vallejo, California, we were around 2000 miles away from Karen’s family in western Arkansas and about the same from my family just outside Houston, Texas. Rare, long distance phone calls were expensive — and short. Letters were seldom exchanged. We were 21 and 20 years old and totally on our own. A year or so later, we were living in Connecticut and I was stationed on a submarine. Transatlantic calling Karen from the sub tender in Holy Loch, Scotland after we got back off patrol was wonderful, very, very pricey — and short.

        Today, through texts, Facebook, Words-With-Friends and occasional phone calls, we are very regular contact with our youngest daughter in Wisconsin, my 5 siblings in Oregon (and parents) and Indiana and Karen’s 9 (surviving) siblings 3 hours drive northwest of us and in Virginia, not to mention a myriad of multiple generations of nieces and nephews and even some cousins that we never would have even known without the internet.

        Nuclear, for me, isn’t exotic or magic, of course. It’s normal.

        Comment by Mike — July 18, 2016 @ 05:34 | Reply

  3. I still prefer to make phone calls from my landline to other landlines though I do have a smartphone too.

    Comment by rummuser — July 17, 2016 @ 14:49 | Reply

    • My dear Ramana, a landline is a thing of self contained beauty. When it rings it rings. If and when I find it (and I do) I’ll answer it. Having said that, it’s reassuring to know that the Angel (and everyone else) does have a phone on the hoof, so he/they can get me any time they want or need to (unless I am out of the house).


      Comment by bitchontheblog — July 17, 2016 @ 18:35 | Reply

      • I like my landline… as some will confirm……. I often think that mobile phones are a technology that has made itself essential….. come the revolution and the reds destroy yhe power stations… what will people do? Resort to semaphore and candle powered Aldis lamps?

        Wind up torches?

        Comment by magpie11 — July 17, 2016 @ 22:15 | Reply

  4. Apparently the Samsung Galaxy S7 and the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge are better than the best iPhone right now. That may change next month.

    We don’t have smartphones because they’re not reliable up on the land. I text Andy once a day using our basic cell phones, and sometimes he gets it right away but a lot of times it takes up to an hour or longer. His texts usually don’t go through to me when he’s up there. So we’ve also invested in internet up there and bought him a Chromebook. He sends me a message every day just before he leaves and that works fine. We do it every day so we know we have communication if we need it. It’s not perfect, but it’s a lot better than it used to be.

    Comment by cheerfulmonk — July 17, 2016 @ 17:31 | Reply

    • Your reply made me think [nothing new there then].

      It is strange, don’t you agree, how we have come to expect to be connected at all times? I do find it eery. The best that can be said, and most certainly in your and Andy’s case, it’s a way of limiting damage should such occur.


      Comment by bitchontheblog — July 17, 2016 @ 18:34 | Reply

    • If Andy falls and hurts himself he most likely wouldn’t be able to reach me, but if he gets stuck up there for some reason (think trees across the road, for instance) he can let me know he’s all right if he doesn’t come home. It’s a lot better than nothing.

      Comment by cheerfulmonk — July 17, 2016 @ 21:06 | Reply

  5. No smartphone here either…. and the brick is often lying around somewhere, whereabouts unknown. I don’t even know the number.

    Back in 1967 I was working in the British laboratory of a large international chemical company and was shown their new computer….now that was large. I was informed that the “paperless office” was on its way…. when it eventually gets here I expect I will have been disposed of, either by family or by medical students.

    I remeber Sputnick 1 and our excitement (well the boys excitement) and the cmment made by our Yorkshire born and bred Headmaster, he who told me that, because he could not play chess, my father was an ignoramous,
    “I don’t know why you’re so excitd. Nowt ‘ll come of it.”…….. stupid man.
    When we took the class to the Science Museum I always went off script and sat my class under the Sputnik display and asked them why it is important. They never had any idea and more tot he point had no idea what an artificial satellite is……. some reading this will have received it via a satellite link…. “Nowt will come of it” indeed.

    Comment by magpie11 — July 17, 2016 @ 22:03 | Reply

  6. Oh! Up to date… with my love of music and the playing of recordings…. I have no idea about how to download Mp3, Wav files and so forth… I do know how well my 1960s vintage Garrard 401 record deck and the associated modern arm and cartridge play music… and don’t any one dare to tell me that digital recording and playback are an improvement on analogue recording and playback…..

    Sorry to rant..

    Comment by magpie11 — July 17, 2016 @ 22:08 | Reply

    • Rant away, Magpie. It’s no good to anyone having a pressure cooker blow its lid before you can relieve it. You will scrape walls for a while – best case scenario. Worst case scenario you find yourself in A&E.

      Yes, MP3. I am not au fait with all the technology involved though am amazed to see what is at the Angel’s finger tips at the touch of a button. To his credit, he does actually “invest” real money to buy music. After all, musicians too need to eat – unless they are dead.


      Comment by bitchontheblog — July 18, 2016 @ 09:58 | Reply

      • Having worked with both pro and am (and semi pro) musicians I have to say that they are worthy of their hire…. I used to encourage bands to register their arrangements of traditional tunes and then claim for playing them at registered venues… then they cut down the number of registered venues…. no good calaiming after playing ina Village Hall these days.

        Comment by magpie11 — July 18, 2016 @ 13:23 | Reply

  7. I have a very basic mobile phone and tell everyone that one day I will be regarded as a trendsetter for not having a smart phone. I didn’t get a smart phone because I knew my facebook addiction would follow me everywhere. Now, I just cant afford one.

    We no longer have a computer with an SD slot and my camera has an SD card so I currently cant move any photos from camera to computer. I miss that

    Comment by kylie — July 17, 2016 @ 23:50 | Reply

  8. when people had to go to a pay phone or rush home to use the phone – first a dial-up then late a push-button phone…people didn’t wander around holding a little bit of plastic/similar rectangular object as if it was a lifeline!

    Comment by cedar51 — July 19, 2016 @ 01:11 | Reply

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